Hitch Leader: Chris Niebuhr
For Hitch #7 the WildCorps found themselves working in the Inyo Mountain Wilderness with the Bishop, Ca BLM field office. Being the high desert of the Eastern Sierra, this was an area and ecosystem that the crew was unfamiliar with but thoroughly enjoyed. Desert restoration was the focus of the work which encompassed the decommissioning and restoration of incursions (unpermitted roads in wilderness). The methods for this sort of restoration include the installment of wilderness signage, soil decompaction, vertical mulch, rock work and seeding. The hope is to both camouflage the incursion from the uninformed public and provide a head start for re-vegetation. This hitch also provided the crew with a number of educational experiences. The second day of hitch was spent with employees from the Bishop BLM including the field archeologist, Greg who informed the crew of the importance of preserving the history of Native American culture, which is very important in this area and also very apparent in the Inyo. The camp used by the crew was also in a very interesting location because not only was there a spectacular view of the Sierra mountains to the west but also about 100 yards up the road was the historic Saline Valley Salt Tram built in 1911. This supplied the crew with a great place to star gaze on most evenings. On this hitch the WildCorps replaced 42 carsonite wilderness signs with 49 wooden wilderness sign posts. Also, the crew decommissioned 25 incursions and restored 7,900.5 ft of desert habitat. Last but not least, the crew as a whole would like to extend a sincere thank you to their new BLM contact and friend Scott Justham whos veggies are delicious.